A Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gi and a Blue Belt

How to Wash and Dry a BJJ Gi?

Have you recently bought a new BJJ gi and don’t know how to wash it? Don’t worry, I’ll teach you where to start. Here’s how to wash a BJJ gi:

To wash your BJJ gi, machine it inside out with cold water while using no-chemical detergent. Make sure the washer is set to the ‘gentle wash setting.’ After washing your gi, hang up to dry while keeping it away from sunlight.

Being a serious Jiu-Jitsu player, it’s natural to love the sport and its kit while training.

This guide will teach you how to wash and dry a BJJ Gi the correct way so that it lasts longer and stays looking good.

Keep reading!

How to Wash BJJ Gi Properly? (Step-by-Step)

Follow these steps to wash your BJJ gi:

#1 Use Cold Water

Make sure you’re using cold water in your washing machine as exposing your gi to hot water can shrink it. Jiu-Jitsu gis are made up of 100% cotton. Hence, they are more vulnerable to shrinkage.

The ideal water temperature should be below 90 Fahrenheit. If the water temperature is above 130 Fahrenheit, the gi will shrink up to 20%, maybe getting too tight for your body.

Warm water can also damage the gi collar by making it saggy and unprofessional.

#2 Turn Your Gi Inside Out

Turn your gi inside out while washing it. This will prevent the gi’s color from fading away too quickly. 

In case you’re washing other clothes with your gi (which is not recommended) the gi’s fabric will rub with other fabrics’ surfaces, potentially damaging the cloth.

#3 Do Not Mix Other Clothes With Your Gi

While washing your gi, do not add other clothes into the washing machine. Doing this will mess up the gi’s cotton and its color.

Since you would be washing your gi at colder temperatures comparatively, it’s best to separate other clothes.

If mixing clothes is inevitable, only use the same color clothing to wash together.

Moreover, don’t wash BJJ rash guard with your gi.

#4 Use No-Chemical Detergent to Wash Your BJJ Gi

Make sure you do not use chemical detergents that may damage or destroy the normal fibers of the fabric to make them last longer in the future. (I recommend this laundry soap). Detergent chemicals can also discolor or shorten your gi.

If a layer of fabric does get damaged, soak the affected parts in cold water before you wash them anymore.

In case there are any food stains or stains from stuff like paintbrushes, simply use salt to wash off the stains from gi.

#5 Do Not Use Bleach

In case you’re planning to use bleach on your newly bought BJJ kimono, think twice.

Bleach acts as a disinfectant and can cause damage to the gi material. Thus, making it run short of its durability over time by leaving holes in the fabric due to bleach deterioration.

You can also use moderate levels of fabric softener while ensuring that it doesn’t contain bleach.

#6 Add White Vinegar to Remove Bad Odor

Use white vinegar to thoroughly wash away the smell from your BJJ Gi.

Some types of stains can also be washed away with white vinegar. If you don’t have vinegar available, use baking soda as an alternative.

#7 Hang-Up to Dry the Gi

Hang your gi up to air dry after taking it out of the washer.

Do not squeeze it before hanging up. Let the water drops come out of it while hanging naturally.

Also, don’t use a tumble dryer as it can damage gi’s fabric. Make sure not to hang gi in a damp environment as it could cause a bad smell in the fabric.

#8 Iron the Gi Inside Out

Ideally, you don’t need ironing for the gi. But if you want it, only do it inside out to avoid color-fading.

Note: These washing tips are for general use only. Please read the specific washing instructions that came along with your gi’s tag or jacket panel.

Can You Machine Wash a BJJ Gi?

You can machine wash your BJJ gi if the water temperature is below 90 Fahrenheit. But don’t use it for drying the gi as well as it can cause a bad smell in the fabric. Use no-chemical detergent with white vinegar for effective gi cleaning in the washer.

For machine washing, you can use any normal running washer. A 10-15 minute duration is enough to machine wash a BJJ gi.

Avoid washing different color clothes with gi to keep the gi’s fabric spotless and clean.

How to Dry a BJJ Gi Faster?

The fastest way to dry a gi is by using a tumble dryer. However, it’s not recommended as it causes cotton shrinkage. You can use a fan/box fan to dry your gi manually at a faster rate.

Here’s how much time it takes to dry a gi with different drying methods:

Drying MethodEstimated TimeRecommendation
Drying Outside (in the Sun)2 — 4 hoursNot Recommended
Air drying6 — 8 hoursRecommended
Tumble Dryer1 — 1.5 hoursNot Recommended
Air drying (At Night)10 — 12 hoursRecommended
Fan4 — 6 hoursRecommended

This table shows average drying time for BJJ gis after washing.

How to Wash Dark Colored Gis?

If you have a dark-colored gi, here’s how to wash it:

  1. Use cold water in the washing machine.
  2. Use a laundry detergent for dark-colored fabric.
  3. Mix white vinegar in the washer.
  4. Once, the wash has finished, take the gi out.
  5. Air dry dark-colored gi instead of using a dryer.

Hot water is bad for dark-colored gi as it will cause discolorization and shrinkage.

How Often Should I Wash My BJJ Gi?

You should wash your BJJ gi after every training session to keep it smell-free. White gis are more exposed to dirt and sweat spots and should be washed after every session. Avoid using bleach to wash gis as it can weaken the fabric over time

Make sure that you hang up your gi straight after washing, don’t fold or squeeze it while drying out of water.

I always rinse my gi at the showers before putting them over me to prevent moisture build-up in the fabric.

Wearing the same gi for several days will become a breeding ground for bacteria and germs. Besides that, it loses its appeal as well when you see so many stains all over your uniform.

Nevertheless, Jiu-Jitsu can be washed whenever it feels sweaty for you. Wash after every BJJ training session or competition if you are sweating a lot and causing moisture stains on uniforms.

Washing your gi frequently is good for hygiene as well. If you don’t wash your BJJ gi often, you’ll be more exposed to mat diseases like ringworm, staph, etc.

How to Remove Bad Odor from a BJJ Gi?

Here are steps to remove bad odor or gi funk from your Jiu-Jitsu gi:

  1. Keep your gi in the freezer a night before washing to kill bacteria
  2. Use a laundry detergent specifically designed for BJJ gi.
  3. Add a cup of white vinegar while washing gi in the washer.
  4. Hang up your BJJ gi in a warm and dry place after washing.

Can I Dry My Gi in the Sun?

Although the sunlight may kill bacteria and germs, direct sunlight is bad for gi’s fabric as it can deteriorate colors while the sun heat can shrink the gi’s cloth. Drying your gi in the sunlight can significantly reduce the life of the gi.

Since the white color isn’t vulnerable to fading as much as other BJJ gi colors do, you can sun dry your white gi. However, it’ll degrade faster.

Most manufacturers like Atama recommend airdrying gis and avoiding sunlight.

Hanging your gi in the sunlight without washing is even worse. Sweat and sunlight would thaw the cloth.

How Do I Keep My BJJ Gi Soft?

To keep your BJJ gi soft, use moderate levels of bleach-free fabric softener when washing it. You can also use one to two cups of white vinegar in the fabric softener holder to keep your gi soft and cottony.

Wearing your newly bought kimono/gi for the first time feels hard. Therefore, it’s okay to use fabric softener for the first wash.

Should You Wash Your BJJ Belt?

You should wash your BJJ belt along with the gi uniform, shorts, rash guards, and spats after every session. BJJ belt gets as dirty as any other part of your BJJ uniform and may contain bacteria, dirt, fungus, and mites that need to be cleaned.

Washing is the key to keeping your gi belt, rashguards, and spats clean. Washing not just keeps them in good condition but also will kill off any germs that can live on these products.

Do you know that some people don’t wash their BJJ belts while believing the old traditional martial arts myth “Washing your belt washes out your Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills” — I’m sure you don’t believe that, do you?

Breaking this superstitious belief, you need to wash your BJJ gi after every session because the bacteria that can live in it will grow if you don’t clean them off at appropriate intervals.

If the belt stripes come off during a wash, reapply it yourself — It’s repairable and replaceable.

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